This work of pop psychology masquerading, none too convincingly, as a murder mystery is so preposterous in every respect that its opening was preceded by extensive online speculation as to whether it was a real film or an elaborate hoax. Simon Conjurer (pronounced "con-jur-er and played by writer-director Stuart Paul, credited as "?") lives a double life: grade-school teacher by day and nondenominational guru by night. Nurse Rodriguez (Jo-Ann Pantoja) has heard he's a healer, and is convinced when, at his suggestion, his small charges — including little Shirley (Danielle Gerren) — take wing and fly like so many human sparrows. Rodriguez's teenage son, Rebel (Germaine DeLeon), is a suicidal hell-raiser in desperate need of spiritual guidance; fortunately, a new session of Simon's unorthodox self-help seminar is about to begin. He adds Rebel to the roster, alongside compulsive gambler Platehead (William F. Collard), rageaholic Scorpio (John O. Nelson), drug addict Willow (Caitlin Somers), chain-smoking male model Ammath (Marcus Shirock), alcoholic Andrea (Bonnie Paul), morbidly obese Bulwart (Travis Oates), anorexic Lulu (Skyler Shaye), manic-depressive/borderline-schizophrenic Tears (Kennen Sisco) and androgynous, sexually confused supergeek Toons (Jeremy La Zelle). Simon writes "E = MC2 — Enlightenment = Mind Control" on the blackboard and hands out a "psychological mystery thriller" called "Prophet Without a God", suggesting that they take turns reading aloud. To their collective amazement, they're all in the book, which not only describes their pasts but also predicts what's going to happen next, including the arrival of sexy Dean Theresa Elkwood (Danielle Kremeniuk), manic Dr. Crazx (Jon Voight) and a phalanx of campus security officers. Crazx — pronounced "kray-zaks" — Simon's longtime nemesis, has set in motion a plan to frame him for murder; Little Shirley has been found dead after apparently trying to fly out a window; and hard-boiled Sergeant Sourman (Jon Greene) and Detective Milton (Glen Unger) are determined to collar her "sicko teacher." Simon and his students flee, break into Crazx's ultraluxe apartment in search of clues, and remember one by one the childhood traumas — neglect, rape, abandonment, physical and psychological abuse — that damaged them, instantly shaking off their compulsions. Voight's performance as Crazx, if not precisely this lunatic film's highlight, is certainly the best reason to tolerate its absurdities: Wearing a fat suit, fake nose and rust-red hairpiece, inhaling candy bars, affecting a snooty English accent, and hooting and capering like a deranged monkey, he's nothing short of mesmerizing.
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- Released: 2006
- Rating: R
- Review: This work of pop psychology masquerading, none too convincingly, as a murder mystery is so preposterous in every respect that its opening was preceded by extensive online speculation as to whether it was a real film or an elaborate hoax. Simon Conjurer (pr… (more)